The Thirty-A Review July 2020

l o c a l b u s i n e s s

Ahoy the Store b y L i e s e l S c h m i d t

T hese days, you hear a lot about authenticity and transparency, about the reason a company started and its vision. These are often what makes us, as consumers, relate to the brand and the people behind it. We see ourselves in the narrative or we find ourselves admiring them. And when we can follow the story of how and why it began, we become invested in it all the more: shopping at their stores, buying their wares, feeling that we are somehow buying more than just a product, but something special. For Jim Bradley, the idea of creating

and souvenirs that are our vacationers’ favorites. Our private label line has been extremely successful for both our local customers and tourists on vacation, and all of our beach supplies and our PCB logo shirts do great, as well!” And while stores offering these products might seem a dime-a-dozen, Shipwreck has managed to maintain unique- ness, even through it may have come a long way from that sand-covered shop deco- rated in cast-off materials. “Our store is a great place for the entire family to come and spend a couple of hours while all being entertained,” says Jensen. “While you’re waiting on your airbrush t-shirt (from some of the best artists on the

something, somewhere, like that began in 1977, when he opened his first store in Panama City Beach. A shop with floors covered in sand from the beach and decorated solely with materials salvaged from old shipwrecks, buoys, and nets found along the local shoreline, Bradley aptly named the store Shipwreck. So began the narrative of his very own legacy. Clearly, the man had dedication, as he lived behind the store in his van with his dog Leeja, working tirelessly to make his dream a success. Success was realized, and over the next 40-plus years, Bradley and his dog grew the store to somewhat of an icon. Now co-owned with his daughter, Tessa Jensen, Shipwreck has become a local favorite, famously known as one of the oldest stores in the area—all because of Bradley and his unwavering dedication to stay the course and offer his customers something authentic. “Being locally owned and one of the oldest stores on the beach definitely sets us apart,” says Jensen. “We are a family and it shows. We’ve had some of our employees working here since we opened our doors, so when customers come in, they see a familiar face. Our (product) quality is another reason we differ from our competitors. We love to purchase from companies who are striving to do better for our planet, local vendors from PCB, and other family-owned brands. We even have an entire private label line created only for Shipwreck,” she continues with no shortage of pride shining through in her words. “Not only do we want to offer our customers the best products, but we also like to give them lots of options. It’s really hard for someone to come to our store and not find something they like.” Boasting more than 44,000 square feet of retail space dedicated to everything from resort wear and

Hippie Lounge

beach), you can climb into a shark head, take a photo with Elvis, and sit on a unicorn. On the other side of the store, you can get a henna tattoo, try on a thousand pairs of sunglasses, and have a fashion show in the dressing room with your friends. If shopping isn’t your thing, you can come and relax in our new lounge by Saltwater Hippie or play games in the arcade.”

Men’s Clothing

Clearly, Bradley and Jensen have a vision. And the fact that Shipwreck has successfully weathered more than 40 years of choppy waters—everything from spiraling economies to devastating storms—is much to be proud of. But more than that, father and daughter have reason to hold their heads high for the fact that through it all— through good times and bad—they have kept their dedication to themselves and being authentic, always remembering their humble beginnings and those ship- wrecks that once decorated the early dream. Shipwreck LTD. is located at 10570 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach, FL 32407. For more information, call (850) 233-6750 or visit www.

Home Goods

boutique clothing, to lifestyle accessories and beach supplies, it’s little wonder that a customer would be hard- pressed to leave empty-handed. “Each department has different specializations,” Jensen explains. “Our boutique side focuses on offering the latest trends for men and women…the surf brands, swimwear, and fishing lines on our boutique side always are a best-seller. We also have the largest selection of sunglasses on the beach in our Sunglass Shop and they are one of our top-selling items. On the other end of our store are beach supplies, t-shirts,

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